Despite its compact dimensions, the LaserJet Pro CP1025 Color is, as mentioned, a carousel-based printer. This is an older design and has the disadvantage of printing colour pages at roughly a quarter of the speed it can handle black text. This is because it builds up an image of the page by rotating a carousel of toner cartridges and laying colours onto a transfer belt, one after the other.
HP claims 16ppm for black print and 4ppm for colour and we saw a maximum speed of 13.0ppm printing black, which is not that far off the headline figure. That was on our 20-page text print, though, and the more typical, 5-page print gave 8.8ppm, little more than half the spec.
The five-page black text and colour graphics document returned a speed of 3.3ppm, which is again not that far off the claim, but it's pretty slow overall. Compare it with speeds for the Dell 1250c or the Xerox Phaser 6000, both of which managed 6.7ppm, and you can see it's pretty slow. However, a 15 x 10cm photo on A4 paper took 12s, which is nippy by most standards.
The printed output, with the default resolution of 600dpi, is sharp and clean, belying the low asking price of the machine. Colour graphics are also clear and bright, with a good range of captivating colours and excellent registration of black text on a colour background. Our colour photo print is not so good, showing a slight colour cast away from red and losing detail in darker areas of the image.
Running costs come in two parts, the toner cartridges and the single photoconductor drum. Toner is only available at one yield level, which is fairly low, though not that untoward for an entry-level printer. Black should give 1,200 ISO pages, while each of the colours are rated at 1,000.
At the current level of consumable costs online, we calculate costs per page of 4.8p for black and 18.5p the colour. We marked the Dell and Xerox machines down for their stupidly high page costs, but these are higher, a full penny per page higher in the case of black print. At these rates, it would be cheaper to take your printing to a copy shop, even throwing in the power for your Segway.
The LaserJet Pro CP1025 Color is another example of an entry-level colour page printer that has a lot going for it, but is ruined by a marketing decision to charge over the odds for consumables. These prices are just much too high, particularly when you compare them with costs for equivalent ink-jet printers, which have a lower asking price and still offer to print black pages for under 3p and colour for half the page rate this machine can manage.